In each of the last three years, over 200 assaults on gardaí resulting in an occupational injury have been reported across the country.
An Garda Síochána is seeking to have its instructors trained in how to teach the Japanese martial art of Taiho-jutsu to new recruits at the Garda College in Templemore.
It’s set to spend up to €120,000 over four years for the delivery of this training in Taiho-Jutsu, a form of non-lethal self-defence or an equivalent mode of self-defence.
In each of the last three years, over 200 assaults on gardaí resulting in an occupational injury have been reported across the country.
In 2019, 267 such assaults were reported, followed by 223 in 2020, and 243 last year.
Each month, in his report to the Policing Authority, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris provides the data on the number of occasions gardaí have used force in the course of their duties.
In July, there were 1,149 occasions where force was used — with over half of these instances happening on weekends.
According to tender documents issued by An Garda Síochána, police self-defence is part of the programme for all garda trainees during their time on the foundation programme. The self-defence training is provided by garda instructors within the college.
It said: “The objective for An Garda Síochána (AGS) in undertaking this procurement exercise is to ensure the most economical and best quality training is provided to (10) Instructors and (10) Train the Trainer Instructor Level and recertification of these Instructors and Train the Trainer Instructors over the 4 years of the tender.” 
Once the garda instructors receive this training, they will in turn train new recruits in the self-defence style.
Originating in feudal Japan, Taiho-jutsu has been modernised over the years since World War 2 and is used by many police forces around the world.
Gardaí said it requires the successful tenderer shall “be required to possess and display the diligence, skill, and expertise necessary to ensure, for An Garda Síochána, the most cost-effective and efficient services”.
They will also need to demonstrate the technical knowledge and understanding of the legal restraints that can be used by the gardaí in the course of their work.
It said that competent garda staff will attend some of the courses as observers, while proper accreditation is needed for the ones who’ll be giving the training.
An Garda Síochána said it plans to commence this training in the fourth quarter of this year.

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